Bring & Mix

This blog post originally appeared on Louisa’s website, www.louisarevolta.com

There are many things that I love about my job. One of them is having the chance to explore and discover amazing venues. This weekend I had the opportunity to perform for the guests at Southampton’s secret speakeasy Bring and Mix.

Nestled in the heart of Bedford Place this intimate venue harks back to the days of prohibition and has a wonderful atmosphere with attentive and friendly service and glamorous decor. The venue is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings with the first table at 6.00pm and the final sitting at 9.15pm. Prices range from £19 - £22 per person and this is for a two hour session. As the name suggests, for this experience you bring your favourite spirits and the mixologists create unique and delicious cocktails to suit your taste. It is essential to book in advance and you may have to book ahead by a few weeks but the experience is worth the wait. Your booking confirmation will come with a secret password that you must say as you are greeted at the venue and lead upstairs to a hidden doorway inside a bookcase.

For me it is a wonderful excuse to add new songs to my repertoire and quietly people watch while I lose myself in the music and soak in the atmosphere. I enjoy singing over the hubbub of conversation and the rattling of ice cubes being shaken overhead behind the bar.

When they are not busy being a speakeasy on Friday and Saturdays, Bring and Mix are available for private hire. I first discovered the place when Women Who Do held a speed networking event there. I have also been a customer when hair and makeup stylist Miss Pearl Curl of Pearl’s Pinup Parlour teamed up with Wayne Treasure of Treasure the Moments photography to offer a photography package at Bring and Mix.

Photo by Wayne Treasure, hair and makeup by Pearl’s Pinup Parlour

Photo by Wayne Treasure, hair and makeup by Pearl’s Pinup Parlour

I have also teamed up with Vintage Keys Studio and invaded Bring and Mix with an army of microphones, musicians and cameras to offer singers a chance to record their very own live performance. Here are a couple of examples, one of them sung by the wonderful Andrea Kelso and another swing cover by yours truly.

We will be shortly announcing another date for an opportunity to come and record at Bring and Mix with pianist Steve Christie and the Vintage Keys Studio recording team.

Gin, Gin, Gin!

It’s no great secret that I enjoy a gin & tonic (Hendricks, slimline Schweppes & a squeeze of lime) but it wasn’t until last Christmas that I started to take this fondness to the next level by getting experimental (or “fussy” so I’m told) with mixers and cocktail recipes. “What was the catalyst for this rather frivolous and entirely extravagant new hobby Anna?” I hear you ask. Well, it began with a rather splendid gift from my brother.  Wrapped under the Christmas tree last year was a bottle of Twisted Nose Gin, a local tipple that is distilled just up the road from me in Winchester. I knew it would be nice, it was recently voted 17th in a poll of the nation’s favourite gins and received rave reviews at the Gin Guild Ginposium (YES, a place where gin professionals get together solely to discuss gin…!).

I’m going to put my neck on the line here as a gin novice and say that it’s got quite a distinctive peppery taste, which is very refreshing! This might have something to do with it’s watercress infusion (a speciality of the area, thus lending its name to our wonderful steam line – The Watercress Line) or a combination of nine other botanicals of which you can read about on the website. Of course Twisted Nose makes for a wonderful G&T, but I also wanted to share with you a beautifully bitter gin cocktail that I’m becoming rather fond of (potentially sacrilege? I’m new to this!).

 

Gin Bramble

 

Bramble

Ingredients:

  • 45ml gin

  • 20ml lemon juice

  • 15ml sugar syrup

  • 20ml crème de mûre (Blackberry liquor is difficult to source – but you can also substitute this with Chambord)

  • Lots of ice

  • Blackberries or raspberries to garnish

 

Method:

MIX and enjoy!

 

N.B. I originally stumbled across this recipe on Honestly YUM, which is crammed full of food & drink related goodness! 

Gin Bramble

I'd love to hear your thoughts & recommendations about gin, cocktails or this recipe so do leave comments!

Much love,

Anna xxx

P.s. Since we're on the topic...